The Hoosiers look to extend their winning streak against the Boilers this weekend. The intra-state rivalry continues for the third consecutive year with the Indiana vs. Purdue dual meet. The Hoosiers have won both the men's and women's meets the past two seasons, with the 77-59 win by the men last season the closest winning margin since the series renewed in 2010. Purdue comes to town with women's throwers Dani Buch and Terri Anderson leading the way. The two throwers for Purdue rank sixth and ninth nationally in the shot put, and Bunch ranks ninth nationally in the weight throw. The men are led by Mitch Erickson, who has a good early season clearance in the pole vault, ranking ninth in the nation.
Galos took the win in the men's weight throw, posting his second-straight career best of the season. His throw of 18.83m (61-9.5). Galos ranks eighth nationally in the very young indoor season.
Nierman won the 3,000 meters in a time of 8:17.89, which leads the NCAA on the season. He destroyed his previous career best (8:48.86) by 31 seconds.
Turner won the 1,000m in 2:23.51. He bettered two post-collegiate runners for the win. He came back to run the second leg on Indiana's winning 4x400m relay, clocking a time of 3:18.20.
Duerksen won the women's 1,000m in a time of 2:50.19, squeaking it out ahead of teammate Breanne Ehrman, who was second in 2:50.37. IU went 1-2-3, with Caitlin Engel in third in 2:52.45.
Four IU alumni took wins on the day, with Aarik Wilson winning the triple jump with a mark of 16.02m (52-6.75), Vera Neuenswander (4.00m (13-1.5)) and Jeff Coover (5.36m (17-7)) winning the women's and men's pole vaults and current assistant coach Abbie Norton winning the 60m hurdles in 8.98.
Monique Riddick took second in the shot put (15.67m (51-5)) and the weight throw (17.59m (57-8.5)). Her mark in the shot put ranks sixth on the national list.
Tyler Sult took the win in the 60m, clocking a time of 7.04 seconds. Jordan Gray won the 500 meters in 1:13.93. Ryan Hindes was the collegiate winner in the men's 500 in 1:04.10, finishing .05 behind the winner, Ricardo Bell of the Indiana Invaders. Chris Vaughn was third in the 500, finishing in 1:04.97 to win his heat.
HOOSIERS EIGHTH IN PRESEASON RANKS
The USTFCCCA released the preseason NCAA Division I computer rankings for indoor track and field this week, and Indiana stacks up at number eight to start the season. Without all-world high jumper Derek Drouin as he redshirts this indoor season, the Hoosiers still return enough firepower to rank among the nation's top 10. The first regular season rankings will be released by the USTFCCCA on Jan. 24.
Big scorers in the computer rankings for IU include Andy Bayer, who has the top returning time in the 3,000m and the fourth-best returning time in the mile, as well as the fifth returning time in the distance medley relay. Andrew Poore and Ben Hubers rank as the eighth and ninth best returners in the 5K, and both rank among the nation's top 15 in the 3K as well. Kind Butler is the other big contributor for IU, as he ranks ninth in the 200m and 19th in the 60m.
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ONE OF A KIND Kind Butler blazed to wins in the 55 meters and 300 meters at the Hoosier Open. His time of 6.27 seconds in the 55 is the sixth fastest in school history and is the fastest 55m time in the country on the very young season. Converted to 60 meters, Butler ranks sixth on the NCAA list.
In the 300, Butler finished in a school record 33.57, to win by more than half a second. Butler bettered the previous record of 33.87 by IU legend and Olympian Albert Robinson.
Butler has a led a resurgence of the Indiana sprints program over the past two years. He won IU's first Big Ten title in the 60 meters since 1992 and became IU's first All-American in the 200 since 2004 during the 2011 indoor campaign, and then outdoors he led the Hoosiers to the first All-America finish in the 4x100 since 1971 and came within .01 seconds of the IU record in the 100 meters.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Since his arrival in Bloomington in 2007, Ron Helmer has turned Indiana's distance program into a powerhouse. IU's men's distance runners have played prominent roles in four NCAA top-10 finishes in the past two seasons. The men's cross country team finished seventh at NCAAs in both 2010 and 2011, and the distance crew helped the Hoosiers to sixth at NCAAs during the 2010 and 2011 indoor seasons.
When it comes to success on the track, Indiana enters the indoor campaign with perhaps the most depth in the country in distance events. IU's men return four distance runners with Big Ten titles on their resumés, and two of those runners have won a pair of conference crowns. The 2012 Hoosier squad returns six All-American distance runners, who have combined to collect 21 All-America certificates. Indiana's depth is evident if you look at the team's career bests, as six Hoosiers have PR's in the mile better than 4:05 and 10 Hoosiers have gone under 4:10 in their collegiate careers.
ONCE THE ROOKIE, NOW THE VETERAN Kelsie Ahbe came to Indiana in 2009-10 as a two-time state champion pole vaulter from Ohio, but with a pair of NCAA Championship-tested jumpers (Vera Neuenswander and Stephanie Chin) in the program to train with and learn from. Two years later, she is the returning All-American, and four freshmen will look to her for the lead on the pole vault runway. Indiana has had great successes in the women's pole vault since Jake Wiseman took over the group in 2005.
Ahbe took second at Big Tens during the indoor and outdoor seasons and added a sixth place finish outdoors for her first All-America certificate. She and Vera Neuenswander went 1-2 at the outdoor Big Ten meet. This after she took 14th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and second at Big Tens as a freshman in 2010.
This season, four freshmen enter the program in the women's pole vault, and they are a heralded group. All four jumpers cleared 3.81m (12-6) or better in high school, a mark that was Ahbe's PR when she arrived in Bloomington. It should be an intriguing season on the pole vault runway for IU.
CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK Monique Riddick had a breakout year in 2011, but unless you were a hardcore fan of the throws, you might not have noticed. Overshadowed by Faith Sherrill's standout senior season, Riddick posted similar numbers in the shot put in her junior season to what Sherrill did in her junior season, making Riddick an under the radar performer this year with the potential to surprise people in 2012.
Riddick, a transfer to Indiana in 2010 from Montclair State, won three NCAA Division III titles in the shot put before arriving in Bloomington. Riddick posted an indoor best of 16.66m (54-8) in 2011 and advanced to the NCAA Championships during the indoor and outdoor campaigns. In comparison, Sherrill finished her junior indoor season at 16.80m (55-1.5).
A standout at Bishop Ahr in New Jersey, Riddick wasn't heavily recruited out of high school, mostly because of her height. The senior has proved people wrong as a collegiate thrower, and with her work ethic and strong finish to throws, she has blossomed under Indiana's throws coach Jermaine Jones. After winning her third NCAA title at Montclair State, head coach Aubrey Lewis told Riddick that she should look to transfer if she wanted to reach her full potential as a thrower. In the recruiting process, Riddick chose Indiana because of Jones's successes with another short thrower, Tiffany Howard. Howard was an All-American and Big Ten Champion at Indiana.
BREAKOUT FOR BAILEY? Aireonna Bailey took wins in the 55m and 300m at the Hoosier Open, posting a time of 7.13 seconds in the 55 to move past IU legend and Olympian DeDee Nathan for ninth in IU history. Converted to 60 meters, Bailey's time is 7.65, which is .02 better than her career best. In the 300, Bailey clocked a time of 39.31 to win by just under two seconds.
After a breakout season in 2011, Bailey is poised for a breakout campaign in 2012. The junior posted a third place finish in the 200m at Big Tens in 2011 and scored in the 100m at the conference meet as well. The Zion, Ill., native was one race away from a trip to Des Moines during the outdoor campaign last year, advancing to the quarterfinals at the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
Bailey should benefit from the addition of two new training partners, freshmen Shawntanay Johnson and La Toya Williams. Both of the freshmen come to Indiana with impressive high school accolades. Johnson was a Missouri state runner up in the 100 in 2009, and Williams was all-state in the 100m and 200m at the always impressive California State meet.